Final consultation underway for Garn Fach
EDF Renewables is starting a pre-application consultation on its plans to develop a wind farm at Garn Fach, south of Newtown, Powys, in partnership with local farming families.
The scheme was first announced in January 2020 and since then EDF Renewables has conducted two public consultation exercises as well as site assessments and surveys. This will be the final opportunity for people to have a say on the plan in advance of submission to the Planning Inspectorate and a final decision by Welsh Ministers.
Garn Fach Wind Farm is an 85 MW, 17 turbine proposal, which would be capable of generating enough renewable electricity for 69,000 homes* and would make a major contribution towards meeting climate change targets. EDF Renewables will offer an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per MW which could mean around £425,000 per year (index linked) is available for local causes or £12.75 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project. The company is also offering local ownership and local people and organisations will have the opportunity to invest and have up to a 10% stake in the project.
Other benefits include enhancing the biodiversity across the site and creating better habitats for flora and fauna. After construction, the on-site wind farm tracks will be used as a cycle route, and new permissive bridleways and footpaths will be created, including a footpath to the scheduled monument, Fowler’s Arm Chair. To encourage visitors and enhance their experience, information boards will be erected, and a small car park is proposed at the southern end of the site.
As part of its consultation, EDF Renewables is hosting an online exhibition, writing to every household within a 10km radius of site, and meeting local community councils. A community liaison group has been meeting to exchange information and discuss what further benefits the wind farm could deliver.
EDF Renewables’ Principal Project Development Manager for Wales, Simon Morgan said:
“Garn Fach will make a positive contribution to Wales’s green recovery, helping to meet the Welsh Government’s targets to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030 and be carbon net zero by 2050.
“We are proud to be working in partnership with fourteen local farming families and that the Garn Fach project is offering significant benefits to the community. Our goal is that the wind farm will be seen as part of the community and a symbol of our collective fight to tackle climate change, helping to accelerate to a net zero future where clean energy powers our lives.”
In preparation for this formal and statutory pre-application consultation stage, a draft Environmental Statement has been prepared and is available on the Garn Fach website and at Llanidloes** and Newtown Libraries. A Non-Technical Summary is also available.
The extended consultation runs until 8 September.
More information, including the statutory documents and the consultation materials are available at www.edf-re.uk/our-sites/garn-fach
*35% capacity factor – conservative figure based on measurements from the on-site mast. Average household consumption of 3,772 kWh from Energy consumption in the UK (www.gov.uk)
**Llanidloes Library is operating an appointments system and members of the public wishing to see the draft Environmental Statement or Non-Technical Summary are advised to phone ahead.